Jackie Kennedy Onassis faced many challenges in her lifetime but now a new book is exposing even more of her tortured life.

According to New York Times best-selling biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, Onassis believed her mother was a victim of elder abuse and reportedly had suicidal thoughts following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Taraborrelli cited letters he found written by the former first lady as his proof of the claims that her mother’s third husband, Bingham Morris, was not treating her well.

“What really surprised me was Jackie’s adamant sense that her mom was a victim of elder abuse,” Taraborrelli said in an interview with Fox News. “This man that her mom was married to at the time, either sexually or physically in some way was abusing Jackie’s mom. And Jackie became a warrior for her mother and began a campaign to have Morris evicted from the family home.”

Because her mother, Janet, suffered from Alzheimer’s, it was unknown if she was being abused because she was so often confused.

“We know that from her handwritten letters to her stepbrother. And, from the doctors that she consulted that were interviewed for my book, we know that she absolutely believed it,” Taraborrelli said. “And there was no way Jackie was going to doubt her mom… There are a lot of theories and we will never really know the truth. But what we do know based on Jackie’s handwritten letters is that she believed it.”

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The grief from losing her husband, brother-in-law Robert and third child, Patrick Kennedy, concerned Onassis’s mother and sister, Lee Radziwill, so much, they feared she would try to take her own life.

“Both Lee and Janet were extremely concerned about Jackie because she was suffering from such PTSD,” Taraborrelli claimed. “Jackie began to drink, take pills and she began to talk about suicide. And she began to talk about it a lot. And she began to consult with a priest named Father McSorley about whether or not she would see Jack on the other side if she killed herself.”

But while Onassis made it through the pain, the relationship between the sisters was strained for the rest of Onassis’s life. In 1994, the sisters reconnected after Onassis’s cancer diagnosis.

“Then in January 1994, Jackie was diagnosed with cancer on pretty much the exact same day Lee’s son was also diagnosed again with the recurrence of cancer. This brought the sisters back together again. But they only had a few months… There just wasn’t enough time,” the author said.

Onassis died in 1994 at the age of 64. Her sister is still alive today and Taraborrelli believes she lives her life “with no regrets.”

Jackie Onassis AP Photo
Nicole is a content editor with Rare. 
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